MHC-peptide specificity and T-cell epitope mapping: where immunotherapy starts

Trends Mol Med. 2006 Oct;12(10):465-72. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2006.08.008. Epub 2006 Sep 7.


The evaluation and characterization of epitope-specific human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-restricted memory T-cell reactivity is an important step for the development of preventive vaccines and peptide-based immunotherapies for viral and tumor diseases. The past decade has witnessed the use of HLA-restricted peptides as tools to activate strong immune responses of naïve or memory T cells specifically. This has fuelled an active search for methodological approaches focusing on HLA and peptide associations. Here, we outline new perspective on the emerging opportunity of evaluating HLA and peptide restriction by using novel approaches, such as quantitative real-time PCR, that can identify epitope specificities that are potentially useful in clinical settings.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation / immunology
  • Epitope Mapping*
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • HLA Antigens / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex*
  • Models, Biological
  • Peptides / immunology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • HLA Antigens
  • Peptides